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Who needs the system's default calculator anyway?
01-03-2018, 06:01 PM (This post was last modified: 01-03-2018 06:05 PM by TheKaneB.)
Post: #1
Who needs the system's default calculator anyway?
The HP Prime emulator is so powerful yet easy to use that I've switched to it on my main development machine even for simple calculations that I used to do with the default Apple calculator program.

[Image: 2TDJhyU.jpg]

Here I put it in my dock, for quick access.

[Image: FAHkydL.png]

Who else did the same?

At home I use my physical HP Prime, but I don't want to carry it to work everyday, because I'm afraid of damaging or losing it, so I re-discovered the emulator which I never really used before, but now it's a valuable asset in my toolbox.

Question for the HP guys: is it ok for the emulator to be used at work from a license standpoint? I couldn't find any statement in the documentation about this topic, or maybe I didn't look well Smile

I must say that I completely replaced the use of Mathematica and WolframAlpha, since all my needs are covered by the Prime, and for more elaborate tasks such as serious data processing I will revert to C++ or Python coding anyway.

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01-03-2018, 07:00 PM
Post: #2
RE: Who needs the system's default calculator anyway?
(01-03-2018 06:01 PM)TheKaneB Wrote:  Question for the HP guys: is it ok for the emulator to be used at work from a license standpoint? I couldn't find any statement in the documentation about this topic, or maybe I didn't look well
I also want to know.
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01-03-2018, 07:43 PM
Post: #3
RE: Who needs the system's default calculator anyway?
(01-03-2018 06:01 PM)TheKaneB Wrote:  The HP Prime emulator is so powerful yet easy to use that I've switched to it on my main development machine even for simple calculations that I used to do with the default Apple calculator program.

[Image: 2TDJhyU.jpg]

Here I put it in my dock, for quick access.

[Image: FAHkydL.png]

Who else did the same?

At home I use my physical HP Prime, but I don't want to carry it to work everyday, because I'm afraid of damaging or losing it, so I re-discovered the emulator which I never really used before, but now it's a valuable asset in my toolbox.

Question for the HP guys: is it ok for the emulator to be used at work from a license standpoint? I couldn't find any statement in the documentation about this topic, or maybe I didn't look well Smile

I must say that I completely replaced the use of Mathematica and WolframAlpha, since all my needs are covered by the Prime, and for more elaborate tasks such as serious data processing I will revert to C++ or Python coding anyway.

I don't have a dock or any boats or even a Mac.
But I put it in the Taskbar.
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01-03-2018, 08:05 PM
Post: #4
RE: Who needs the system's default calculator anyway?
(01-03-2018 07:43 PM)larthurl Wrote:  I don't have a dock or any boats or even a Mac.
But I put it in the Taskbar.

LOL that cracked me up Big Grin

I used to have a beast 12 core Xeon Dell workstation, it had no dock either but man! Did it handle those calculations! Big Grin

The Mac is for my job, but I must say they are actually not bad at all, I can say I like all 3 major OSes (or, more correctly, I hate them equally), although each one for different tasks and different reasons Big Grin

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01-03-2018, 08:24 PM
Post: #5
RE: Who needs the system's default calculator anyway?
another user of Telegram!

Also I have to say that I can accept calculators on phones or tablets, because I can lay them on the same plane where I take notes (I develop my ideas on paper first).

Calculators on computers are always clumsy because I have to look at the monitor and then look at the sheet of paper multiple times. On computers either a develop a big program after havind defined the guidelines on paper, or I mostly don't use the calculator there.

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01-03-2018, 08:35 PM
Post: #6
RE: Who needs the system's default calculator anyway?
(01-03-2018 06:01 PM)TheKaneB Wrote:  At home I use my physical HP Prime, but I don't want to carry it to work everyday, because I'm afraid of damaging or losing it, so I re-discovered the emulator which I never really used before, but now it's a valuable asset in my toolbox.


The Prime is cheap enough that I bought one for home and one for work. I send any changes to iCloud and keep the calcs in sync that way.

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01-03-2018, 08:36 PM (This post was last modified: 01-03-2018 08:41 PM by TheKaneB.)
Post: #7
RE: Who needs the system's default calculator anyway?
(01-03-2018 08:24 PM)pier4r Wrote:  another user of Telegram!

Also I have to say that I can accept calculators on phones or tablets, because I can lay them on the same plane where I take notes (I develop my ideas on paper first).

Calculators on computers are always clumsy because I have to look at the monitor and then look at the sheet of paper multiple times. On computers either a develop a big program after havind defined the guidelines on paper, or I mostly don't use the calculator there.

yeah I know, I have the same problem like you but I don't want to spend 20-25 € for the mobile version of the Prime app just to use it more comfortably. I have the real thing which I can use fully when I am home.

The good thing for me is that I can write code and expressions much quicker on the computer, as I am a very fast typer.

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01-03-2018, 08:39 PM
Post: #8
RE: Who needs the system's default calculator anyway?
(01-03-2018 08:35 PM)toml_12953 Wrote:  
(01-03-2018 06:01 PM)TheKaneB Wrote:  At home I use my physical HP Prime, but I don't want to carry it to work everyday, because I'm afraid of damaging or losing it, so I re-discovered the emulator which I never really used before, but now it's a valuable asset in my toolbox.


The Prime is cheap enough that I bought one for home and one for work. I send any changes to iCloud and keep the calcs in sync that way.

Well, I think the "cheap enough" threshold is different for each person Big Grin
If my job was primarily dependent on the calculator, I would surely buy 2 or 3 of them, but for me it is just a "nice to have" thing. None of my colleagues even know to use a calculator except for the typical cheap Casios.

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01-03-2018, 09:41 PM (This post was last modified: 01-03-2018 09:45 PM by pier4r.)
Post: #9
RE: Who needs the system's default calculator anyway?
(01-03-2018 08:36 PM)TheKaneB Wrote:  yeah I know, I have the same problem like you but I don't want to spend 20-25 € for the mobile version of the Prime app just to use it more comfortably. I have the real thing which I can use fully when I am home.

The good thing for me is that I can write code and expressions much quicker on the computer, as I am a very fast typer.

Understandable.

I had an open todo to consider a math environment (could have been a programming language with proper libraries as well) as portable as possible. So I could develop a program with a real keyboard and let it run on mobile/embedded devices.

For my knowledge at that time, and still today, the Hp prime is the best solution given my budget.

I develop on windows (from XP to win 10 pro and then hp connector kit + virtual calculator) and then when the basic test works, I send it to one of the many android to let it compute in the night. (even a device from 2012 would be powerful enough)

I did exactly this with the 50g before, letting run the 50g in the night. The problem is that when I approach a problem I search first a usable/correct result and then I optimize the algorithm a bit. (I learned the hard way that optimizing early does not help, at least with me)

Now my optimization are not bad but neither are that miraculous. This unless I am fixed on a problem and I ask around for help. Therefore a relatively simple but intensive algorithm with userRPL on the 50g ends up:
(a) using too much memory due the limited memory available (in my 50g, normally 200kb)
(b) run it for days.

Thus I see the prime as environment to run more time/memory intensive applications. Although I am surprised that there are some hard limits on data structures (list, matrices, strings). If one lifts those limits, for example allowing lists of 1M entries, the prime becomes even more powerful. Anyway for the moment it is ok, as one can use lists of lists with a bit of patience.

So my gamble on the prime, so far, is good. For intensive tasks that would take too long on the 50g it is great (considering the 50g with userRPL coupled with my algorithms. With newRPL things change a bit). For smaller tasks, the 50g is still great.

Then I have the ti89t and the ti nspire (2006) sitting around (actually I may reuse the ti89 soon) because their usability for automating little tasks (read: programming) is quite low without TI software.

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01-03-2018, 09:47 PM
Post: #10
RE: Who needs the system's default calculator anyway?
May I ask you what kind of calculations did you run for so many hours on the 50G and the Prime?

If I had the need for some heavy lifting calculation I would use a regular PC with Python or even C++ (or Mathematica if I really needed advanced symbolic Math functions not easily found anywhere else)

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01-03-2018, 10:03 PM (This post was last modified: 01-03-2018 10:10 PM by pier4r.)
Post: #11
RE: Who needs the system's default calculator anyway?
(01-03-2018 09:47 PM)TheKaneB Wrote:  May I ask you what kind of calculations did you run for so many hours on the 50G and the Prime?

If I had the need for some heavy lifting calculation I would use a regular PC with Python or even C++ (or Mathematica if I really needed advanced symbolic Math functions not easily found anywhere else)

Nothing special, mostly personal investigations that requires a lot of trials.
http://pier4r.wikidot.com/pierworks:arti...formatcomp

On the prime I am doing this (hopefully I will write a little summary soon):
https://app.assembla.com/spaces/various-...e_size.txt

preliminary results:
https://app.assembla.com/spaces/various-...-01-02.txt

It took like a night (~8h) on a nvidia shield k1 (the prime is not using multiple CPUs). On the 50g + userRPL , saving single results on the SD card, would have taken some days I guess.

Sure I could do them in python, javascript, php, java, c#, ocaml, R and what not (likely not C++ or compiled stuff). But I like to have a "dedicated" environment and I like to use what I have (because it is not that I have deadlines for my investigations).

Now with python, javascript, c# and what not, I may need this or that OS version and not and old one. I may need to keep the programming language interpreter updated to keep using the libraries that may be updated as well (numpy for example), etc... So after a while it is a chore to setup all of it for quick investigations.

Consider that I like to run my devices into the ground with use, because I feel like a waste if I don't use functioning stuff that I bought. Therefore I may not have always the last OS or enough resources for a certain programming language.

I see it like "I would like to eat my sandwidch" but before I need to assemble the chairs and the table, while I have little spare time in general because I want to do other stuff as well. I go outside and I buy something, opportunity cost.

matlab, scilab, mathematica & co would fit better the requirement since they are self contained, so I do not need to search for this or that library. Nonetheless I need a computer that runs them if the procedure takes long, and I don't want to hear fans for long time (at least not nowadays). Or I do not really have a computer that fits their system requirements.
Moreover I already use the computer by myself, then having something running in the background does not really help. For this reason I have the prime that can burn those tablets that are not often used, let it do it!

Plus I can carry the prime around with an android phone, it won't be that easy to do the same (with a user interface as usable as the prime) with the other self contained environments (matlab, scilab, matematica, octave and what not).

Or also the 50g, is not that it is always busy, so it can compute as well. The point is that it is a bit too slow with my algorithms (I repeat, newRPL may change the situation).

So for my situation, the prime wins.

If I would have had a better and more expensive homelab and less self imposed limits, then likely I could have used something else.

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01-03-2018, 11:29 PM
Post: #12
RE: Who needs the system's default calculator anyway?
Well, I like how you imposed yourself a set of limits, that's what sparks creativity in my opinion, and it's always more fun to code with limited resources (that's why I love retrocomputing as well).
That said, if I were you, I'd definitely implemented that thing in C++ with OpenMP. I bet I could reduce the run time from the 8h of the prime / shield to a few minutes on a modest quad core i5 pc Big Grin

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01-04-2018, 01:30 AM
Post: #13
RE: Who needs the system's default calculator anyway?
(01-03-2018 07:43 PM)larthurl Wrote:  I don't have a dock or any boats or even a Mac.
But I put it in the Taskbar.

The virtual Prime has been assigned to Ctrl-Shift-Alt-C on my Windows computers. And its Connectivity Kit has been assigned to Ctrl-Shift-Alt-K. That's a few nanoseconds faster than mousing around. Big Grin

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01-04-2018, 02:07 AM (This post was last modified: 01-04-2018 02:08 AM by TheKaneB.)
Post: #14
RE: Who needs the system's default calculator anyway?
That's real efficiency right there! Big Grin (AKA emacs-style octopus shortcut keys)

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01-04-2018, 07:42 AM (This post was last modified: 01-04-2018 08:50 AM by pier4r.)
Post: #15
RE: Who needs the system's default calculator anyway?
(01-03-2018 11:29 PM)TheKaneB Wrote:  That said, if I were you, I'd definitely implemented that thing in C++ with OpenMP. I bet I could reduce the run time from the 8h of the prime / shield to a few minutes on a modest quad core i5 pc Big Grin

Sure, but it is not needed for me. A need has a set of factors to fulfill, if I needed speed I would do something similar. The point is that the calculators that I have push me to do little math problems , larger programming environments are not that stimulating . Therefore I use what I have because otherwise I wouldn't have the same problems .

It is like, I see the 50g and I think "oh is not running, what could I do on it?". I don't think the same with python because my computer is running programs nonetheless , so meh.

That seems trivial but it is a super incentive to do programming and math. Incentives make the difference and different people get motivated by different things .

Then again to be fast on a modern quad core is not that difficult with a capable programming language just because the hardware is fast. What makes the difference is the input. Scale the input enough and then it gets interesting. What is interesting is the algorithm, rather than speed on faster hw.

What I would do with a more capable programming language, of course one off things (so no prime replacement), are massive things . Like reading the blockchain of bitcoin to search closed recurring cycles of payments. That is a massive problem.

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01-04-2018, 09:55 AM
Post: #16
RE: Who needs the system's default calculator anyway?
sure I totally understand your point, I just wanted to bring the fact that I find equally motivating solving that kind of problems with a regular PC, that’s just my personal preference, not a statement about your hobby Smile

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01-04-2018, 10:36 AM
Post: #17
RE: Who needs the system's default calculator anyway?
Ok. But now I am curious, what do you crunch on your systems? Do you have cases where it takes long time?

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01-04-2018, 11:15 AM (This post was last modified: 01-04-2018 11:19 AM by TheKaneB.)
Post: #18
RE: Who needs the system's default calculator anyway?
When I had much more free time I wrote a finite elements simulation for molecular dynamics, which explored different approaches to numerical integrations. It was an excuse to learn CUDA, OpenCL and OpenMP.
The same integrator can be used, with different equations and boundary conditions, to simulate any kind of time dependent physical system, mainly fluids but also heat exchange, materials deformation and other stuff.

In principle, the HP Prime can be used for the same task but with much smaller data set of course. Uh, I also wrote a simple rigid body simulation on the TI-89, it was really fun watching those cubes rolling and bouncing around in a realistic way Big Grin

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01-04-2018, 01:15 PM
Post: #19
RE: Who needs the system's default calculator anyway?
Cool. Any repository/article to see?

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01-04-2018, 02:55 PM (This post was last modified: 01-04-2018 02:56 PM by TheKaneB.)
Post: #20
RE: Who needs the system's default calculator anyway?
I had some prototypes but I've lost basically everything.

At the time I worked on real time physics simulation for a well known game company (I worked on the physics simulations of racing bikes and cars, damage simulation, heat dissipation and other stuff), so most of my experiments were half work and half hobby so I couldn't publish the whole thing. Basically it's gone, but if you like to study the subject I have still several resources which provide very good example code.

EDIT: another strange platform I worked on was the IBM Cell, a beast for vector calculations, used inside the Sony PS3!

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